CAPTION: (L to R) Fiji’s Goodwill Ambassador for Women Madam Nazhat Shameem with the Permanent Secretary for Social Welfare, Women Dr Josefa Koroivueta while signing the consultancy agreement for review of the FNCDP Act. Photo: MINFO.
The Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation has acquired the consultancy services of Fiji’s Goodwill Ambassador for Women, Madam Nazhat Shameem to review the Fiji National Council for Disabled Persons (FNCDP) Act.
Madam Shameem signed the consultancy agreement Monday this week at the ministry’s headquarters in Suva.
Permanent secretary for Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta along with FNCDP Executive Director, Dr Sitiveni Yanuyanutawa witnessed the signing of the agreement.
Madam Shameem said she is glad to offer her consultancy services and looks forward to undertaking the review of the FNCDP Act.
“This is going to be a challenging project for me because this is the first time I will work with FNCDP. It is important to ensure that Fiji’s laws conform to the United Nations Convention on People with Disability,” Madam Shameem said.
“The most interesting part of the project will be the consultation process with persons with disabilities and I look forward for that and also look forward to work with the Ministry to complete the review of the FNCDP Act.”
Dr Koroivueta, acknowledged the legal expertise of Madam Shameem and thanked her for her continued support to the social welfare ministry.
“We are happy to have this professional undertaking with Madam Shameem in providing her consultancy services for the important reviews and we would like to express our gratitude for her continued support to the Ministry in many more ways beyond expression of this contract. We will work together to ensure the review work comes to fruition,” Dr Koroivueta said.
Speaking on behalf of FNCDP, Dr Sitiveni Yanuyanutawa highlighted the review will provide greater recognition to the need and voices of persons living with disabilities.
“Realistically speaking we are on the moon, as this is one of the biggest steps forward we have achieved and we have progressed to another level and we will work together with madam Shameem for the review of FNCDP Act and also the consultation process that will follow,” Dr Yanuyanutawa said.
Dr Yanuyanutawa said the FNCDP Act 1994 will be reviewed after 18 years and it will take Fiji forward in its effort to ratify UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“When the FNCDP Act 1994 came into effect it was directed at creating a coordinating mechanism to look after the disability services at that time and since then we have progressed over the years, there have been a lot of changes especially in the structure of FNCDP,” Dr Yanuyanutawa said.
“It also has a lot to do with the international and regional commitment we have got and when Fiji signed the Convention on the Rights of the Persons with Disability on June 2nd 2010 that changed a lot of things for the core deliverable’s of the FNCDP,” he added.
“So we have actually started with the ratification process and we need to review all the existing Acts including the FNCDP Act and there will be a consultation process to capture the voices of the persons with physical and mental disability challenges and to create an inclusive society for them.”